Transfer news: Gareth Bale may play in Tottenham friendly this week amid talks over £80m switch to Real Madrid

The Wales international is keen to move to the Bernabeu

The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has arranged a behind-closed-doors friendly for his first team at the club's training ground on Thursday against a non-League opponent which could yet give Gareth Bale the chance to play as he waits for Real Madrid to make a decisive move over his future.

The Spurs first team squad players have been given two days off after returning from Hong Kong on Monday but are back in training today. A Spurs XI will play against MK Dons in Milton Keynes today although it is not expected that Bale will feature in that match.

The 24-year-old had a glute injury during Spurs’ stay in Hong Kong for the Premier League Asia Trophy, which prevented him from playing but he is understood to be keen to get some match-time, in spite of the uncertainty over his future. The player himself has made it clear that he would like Spurs to agree a price with Madrid to facilitate a move.

The first-team game tomorrow is against a non-league opponent at Spurs’ training ground in Enfield. Bale has not played for Spurs since the friendly against Swindon Town on 16 July.

The player and his advisors have made it clear to the club that they want the move to Madrid to happen this summer. It is the expectation at the club that only a world-record breaking transfer of more than £80m will be acceptable to chairman Daniel Levy who is now back in Miami on holiday having been in London briefly at the weekend.

In the meantime, Madrid’s famous players past and present have lined up to endorse the club’s move for the Spurs winger. Zinedine Zidane, now an assistant to coach Carlo Ancelotti said in Los Angeles, where the club are currently based on tour, that the chance to play for Madrid came along “once in a lifetime”.

Zidane said: “It is not unusual when a player knows that Real Madrid are interested in them that they get excited. There is nothing more prestigious for a player to wear the white of Real Madrid.

“If he has expressed a desire to join Madrid then Tottenham should give him permission to speak with us. The chance to play for Real Madrid might only come around once in a player's lifetime - and it is understandable that Gareth doesn't want to miss out on it.

“This is modern football - you have to pay to get the best players in Europe. Last season Gareth was on the same level as Ronaldo and Messi. The best players can have not so great games - but change a game with a moment of brilliance. Those are the sort of players that win you Champions League's and League titles. 

“He is already one of the finest player in Europe and he has everything needed to become the best player in the world. It is a bit of a cliche - but it is true you become a better player playing with better players.”

The goalkeeper Iker Casillas said that Bale was “one of the top three or four best players in Europe”. He said: “It's normal that his name is being discussed because he has all the qualities a footballer needs.”

News
peopleNational cycling charity CTC said he 'should have known better'
News
i100
Life and Style
The fashion retailers have said they will now not place any further orders for the slim mannequin
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Ugne, 32, is a Lithuanian bodybuilder
tvThey include a Lithuanian bodybuilder who believes 'cake is a sin' and the Dalai Lama's personal photographer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food